Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Real magic of Merida fairytale

While London waits to see if the Olympics will have a long-term impact on its tourist trade, Alex Salmond will be crossing his fingers that the new Disney Pixar film Brave, set in the Scottish Highlands, will do a job enticing visitors to explore the fairytale magic of that stunning part of the world.

I hope it does but, even more importantly, I hope Disney's unrivalled reach around the globe will see Brave spread the word across continents and cultures about smart young women being free to choose their own destiny, a privilege the feisty wee firebrand Merida - Pixar's first female hero - fights for in the film.

It might seem a self-evident, even hackneyed, message to you and me, but for many the battle is not yet won. Those courageous Olympic sportswomen from Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia who endured insults, threats and disgrace at home due to their determination to simply take part reminded us of that.

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